Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Sorry, still no photos but wanted to wish people a great Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Saw this on Facebook and haven't stopped laughing yet...

Right girls - we don't want the men thinking they are doing all the hard work by not shaving for "movember" so wait for it ..... Fannuary ..... Let's get started and keep warm for winter !!!! Copy and paste girls xxx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Looking Forward

Thanks for your lovely comments on the last post. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to write about this but I think I will. My lovely mum passed away on the 24th of October. It's like double heartbreak because we lost our gorgeous Dad only this February gone. My sister and I and all our family have had a rotten year but we are trying be strong. Normally I'm the sort of person who counts their blessings (I still do) and takes the positive out of a situation and that's what I'm trying to do. Time will have to do its job on us I think until we mend. We have both gone back to work (my sister and I) and we are trying to move forward and get back to a bit of normality.
Anyway,things I have to look forward to, Part 1.
1.This Friday I am off to the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington with my cousin. We went last year and it was good but horrendously busy. This year I am getting there a bit earlier (my cousin lives in Islington, lucky moo) to get a head start.

2. The following Saturday I am going to see The Dualers with my sister in Maidstone. A treat from my brother in law. He is also dropping us off and picking us up after so we can 'warm up.'Hopefully a bit of bopping about to some ska will do us the world of good.

3. The Saturday after that the Old Man is taking me to the Christmas Market in Lille for the day. I love France, I could marry it, and have never been to Lille so this should be a good day out.

Christmas is normally one of my favourite things, if not the favourite thing but this year I think I will struggle a bit.
Anyway, onwards and upwards.
Thanks again for your kind comments.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Bit Broken

Hello ladies. A bit out of action for the time being. I am reading and commenting sometimes and will get back to writing as soon as.
I'm sure you're not all hanging about waiting for my return, but I missed Mum's tea party and also wanted to say thanks for all the comments on the last post.
Toodle pip.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Toot and tat. A mammoth post.

Right, here goes. I have just taken 44 photo's. Luckily for you I won't put them all in one post. In an effort to be organised, today I am going to do 'Recent Purchases.' 'WIPs' can wait till another day.
Ahem, ready, paying attention at the back?
Firstly, the freebie.
The stuff I took from outside the posh shop in Leigh On Sea that was destined for the bin men. (Turns out, the bloke remembers me because Teenage Daughter #1 bought me a present from said shop in the week and asked the man and he said yes he did remember me and laughed. Very loudly.)
Surprisingly they are still sitting in the exact spot where I put them when I got them home about four weeks ago. 'You could put cutlery in them! You could put napkins in them!' I cried upon bringing them through the house. I will. But not today.
As I felt a bit of a pranny taking the stuff I thought I ought to go in and actually spend a pound note in this shop so I bought these.
Obviously the two cheapest things in the shop, and even whilst making a mercy purchase I couldn't just keep it at one item. The ribbons will come in handy for all my craft projects. (HA HA HA.)And I liked the little tin anyway.
Next up, Pyrex. Now I really don't want to become a collector of any one thing, I love toot in general and am scared of having too much of one thing in case I start behaving like those mentallers who have walls full of shelves built to house their beer mats, but I have found that I do like a bit of Pyrex. I am being picky, (to a degree) I won't buy something I already have and I have to like it. So, here's the latest bits. (I think, I've rather lost track.)
Really liked the fish on this and almost did a little tiny jump for joy. Ten years ago I would have laughed you off the planet for liking this stuff but I think it's the kitschness of it and also it feels a bit comforting. (See, I am turning into a mentaller.)
Had to have this because it actually had a lid. When I saw it I almost broke into a run.
Found this little one in my Mum's cupboard and sort of nicked it. It's probably been there donkey's years. I am looking at my mum's toot with a new eye, believe me. I will never make enough casseroles to use all these will I?
Right, Pyrex done, let's move on. Utility china next. Please be warned that I have left taking these photo's until the darkest day this year so the flash came on and they came out a bit pants, but you'll get the general idea.
First up, plates. Blue, very lovely, bought at the boot fair up the road for pennies. I can't remember how many pennies but it wasn't more than about 200.
Nice 'aint they?
Next, jugs.
Excuse the tap, I wasn't in the mood for moving things about and making them pose. Very happy with these, all bought on the same day at the boot fair, same day as the plates. Good job I had my Tesco Orla Keilly bag with me. I danced all the way back to my car with this little lot I can tell you.
Oops forgot a bit of Pyrex, hold on.
Loved these but I know I will never use them.
Now onto odds and ends.
Flipping love this and felt like keeping it in my handbag so I could look at it whenever I wanted.
Little sugar shaker (another thing I am trying not to collect.) this lives in French Corner. The pretend armoire that is really a kid's bookcase from Ikea reclaimed from Teenager #2's bedroom. ( I say bedroom... )
Little baby tin, very pretty indeed. I also bought a big tin in the same chazza but it was so filthy I soaked it and it is left with a white bloom all over it so not worthy in a place in the line up. On the green one, I did the scratch myself. It has lasted all those years unscathed and after two minutes in my house it is damaged. Soppy mare.
Jubilee things. I know, I'm beginning to look suspiciously like a mentaller here. I promise I won't turn into a 'collector.'
I feel sorry for things and have to buy them.
Big grey thing from TK Maxx. I love that shop. I'd marry it. Every time I go in there I buy something. This grey thing is on another little bookshelfy thing adjacent to French Corner. Grey grabs me, I love it.
Ladybird Love now.
I don't know which of these is new but I am picking them up all over the place. Once I bought some in a second hand bookshop in Rochester and paid probably a bit over the odds for them, but you know those days when you haven't bought anything and are in danger of going home empty handed? Well it was one of them and I didn't want to let the side down so I had to buy some.
This is my favourite, bought from a little lady at the boot sale last week.
How utterly fantastic and fitting! I had a warm glow that morning after finding this.
Right, Fabric Friday.
Curtains. Beautifully made, lined, made out of a heavy linen and all for £7 from a chazza in Chatham. The only window they fit in the house is Teenage Daughter's bedroom. After much pleading, some crying and a smidgeon of hysteria, she gave me a firm talking to and said that under no circumstances was she going to allow them into her room. Disappointed though I was, I decided I will cut them up and 'make' something out of them. On Sunday we are getting the sewing machine out of the garage, getting the rules out to familiarise myself with how it works and commence with all this 'making.' Probably.
Nice cushion cover that I bought weeks ago for about three bob and have just had to pick up from the utility room floor because it hasn't quite made it into the washing machine yet. I had to fight my sister for this so I am a tad ashamed of myself.
Lastly, a bed shot. Mainly for Cuckoo, who has mentioned before that she has a crush on my bedlinen. I saw this little lot in a magazine and then on the very last day that the Teenager was working in Tesco so had 10% off I saw it and bought it. It was dirt cheap, I think it was about £17 for the King Size and I know from experience that most Tesco bedding washes up a treat and usually doesn't need ironing. (Make that never. I only iron bedding if someone posh is staying.)
Anyway, the crocheting is going pretty well, not bored with it yet, but perhaps not as manic about it as I have been. I've realised it's not a race and the wool won't run away if I don't use it up straight away. I will do a crochet post later in the week most likely.
Happy weekend, girlies!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Time and the lack of it.

Hello chicks!
Wanted to say thanks for all your lovely comments and hello to the new followers. So thanks and hello! It's nice to know someone is actually reading this load of waffle.
I also wanted to ask a question... how do people get time to keep up with this blogging caper? What with work, maffs courses, trying to keep the house looking a little bit clean and tidy, cooking dinner, dashing over to Kent to see my mum, keeping up with family and friends on the phone, checking out all the blogs I like reading and commenting on, I never seem to have a spare minute. I know I'm making a minute now but there are no photos and this post is as boring as arse.
It amazes me that some of you are finding time to make stuff, take photos of said stuff (good ones too) and then write entertaining blog posts about it too. You have my admiration, laydeez.
Anyway, I have quite a lot of charity shop and boot sale finds and if I find time on Friday, my day off, I am intending to get them on here for an airing. Mind you, I have to run to Boots for the 3 for 2 offer on the decent moisturisers (according to my sister) and I have just bought two tins of tile paint for the kitchen... wish me luck.
Laters, ladies. Have to dish dinner up and sort out my clobber for work tomorrow.
PS Was well chuffed that Jo won The Great British Bake Off.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Let's just say...

...I'm not a natural baker.
Last Saturday I had a notion to make a cake. Now this doesn't happen often and when it does I have to go out and buy all the makings. I daren't have butter in the house because it haunts me, flour is not something I use much unless I am making a cake and we already know that's a rare thing, the only one who eats eggs is the old man, so naturally I never have any of those...

Anyway, I found a recipe for Victoria Sponge that being my favourite. Bear in mind that I have an O level in Housecraft and have actually made one of these on more than one occasion. The book I was looking in (I realised this at a later stage) assumed that one would be using a big mixer. I don't have one of those and tend to rely on the wooden spoon and hand blender from about 1978 method of mixing. So, this recipe tells you to bung it all in and get mixing. Not being a natural baker, or it seems, clever enough to suss out the fact that a mixer was required here, I did it. In my bowl I had butter (not softened, why bother? I soon found out.) Flour, sugar and beaten eggs. For those of you who are indeed natural bakers you can imagine the state I got myself into. And my kitchen. Embarassed though I am, I took pictures.
At about this time, when I had splattered the kitchen with so much cake mixture it looked like a plasterer's radio, Teenage Daughter#2, who is 14, walked in and told me I was doing it wrong. After I beat her severely about the head and put her in a children's home, I carried on, doing my utmost to get this bowl of floury, eggy lumps to resemble something of a 'soft dropping consistency.'
Eventually, after leaving it in the oven a tad too long and enjoying licking the bowl out a little too much, I ended up with a cake.
It tasted ok, if a bit biscuity, I pretended it was lovely when the rest of the family refused to eat any. The half that broke into three pieces was used on the bottom so it didn't show and it sort of stuck together with the buttercream icing. (Did I mention that I bought that in a tub?)
On Sunday, said Teenage Daughter, (on a jolly from the children's home) made cup cakes. I have to say that they were so light and fluffy and spongy they could have been sold in a shop. Little mare.
I have decided that one of my ambitions has gone up the swanee. Just because I am good at buying china doesn't mean I would be any good at owning a tea shop. Unless I employ the teenage daughter to do the cooking.
No danger of me entering The Great British Bake Off.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Gratuitious Bad Blanket Shots. (and other things.)

Hello chaps! The holiday blanket is finished. The holiday is now a distant memory, the tan has faded and all I have to show for it is this blanket. (Ok, three handbags, a hand painted olive dish, a bottle of Jo Malone's new whiff and a folder of photos...)
Anyway, here it is. Please excuse the awful photography, this is the second attempt and I have decided that I don't have time in my life to try and get better at this skill.
I am happy with it, apart from the vaguely curling edges, especially because I did it by accident. There was no intention there when I started having a bash at the squares from the Jan Eaton book, but once I got going and realised how easy they were (most of them, some were little barks, and not the ones you expect either,)I just kept going.
I have dragged it round the house, making it pose in different rooms.
And on different chairs.
And folded this way and that to get the full effect of every square.
I know when I look at people's completed work I like to study it in detail. So one more. (Can you tell how proud I am of this little baby?)
Eventually it will reside on Teenage Daughter #2's bed. On the end of it anyway. I am witholding it until a tidy and clean up has been completed in case it ends up with botulism of the blanket. Once in its final home, I may photograph it again. Depending on the level of filth in her room at the time. In an effort to be fair I offered to make Teenage Daughter #1 a blankie but after her giving me a withering look and telling me I was sick, I decided she probably didn't really want one.

In between all the blankiness I found a lovely scarf pattern here and I sort of adapted it (made it without the flowers and with different wool) and this is what I ended up with.
I'm in love with these ruffles and so much in love that I am trying to work out a way to get two rows round the edge of a scarf without it looking lumpy. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.
Looking even more ruffly.
Big shout out to Cecile for being such a willing model.

Whilst taking the photos of the holiday blanket I noticed this on the floor. I am ashamed to say that my dog sleeps on it.
This is only half of it. My mum made this back in the late 60s or early 70s and it's flipping huge. There are two, the other one is in my loft as last winter my house begun to look just a little too blankety. I remember her making these, and they were always about in our house, and last year I asked if my mum still had them and she gave them to me. I think I should give one to my sister. Mum also made us crocheted dresses and ponchos. I wish I still had them too. I am making my mum a blanket now, so it all goes round in a circle doesn't it?

Other Things.
Mainly these.
Aren't they pretty? Matalan. They have a whole range of stuff, some of which is lovely. My sister wanted to get the egg cups because she saw them in a magazine so we trotted up there and found them along with mugs (too thick to drink from) side plates (very pretty but I need a plate like I need a hole in the head and I like the old ones) a cup and saucer (again, too thick to drink from but look nice) egg cups (no one in my house eats boiled eggs) a tea pot (nice but didn't like the shape of the knob on the lid) sugar bowl and cream jug (may well yet be purchased) and these pasta bowls( ran to the till with them and had pasta for tea last night just so I could give them an airing.) Now I'm not normally a Matalan fan, although I did buy an ok plastic bay tree in there once, and a huge clock that I knocked off the bathroom wall and broke last week, but if they are going to start doing stuff like this in there I will have to keep going in for a butchers.

Just lately I have been spending a lot of time with my sister and we both love a charity shop mission. We found a newly opened one last week and piled in and started having a look round. We were in there no more than 45 seconds when the manager asked if we were dealers. We laughed and said we wished we were and probably could be with the amount of old junk we both have loafing about, but I wondered what made her think that. I decided it is because whence in a chazza we are so focussed. China, glass, pyrex and fripperies first, bedcovers and tablecloth rail next, children's books, and a quick swoop round and we're out of there. We went back in there yesterday and the woman remembered us and asked us if we'd found anything good lately, I don't think she believed that we were just buying for ourselves. To be honest she is a bit of a would be dealer herself and has things like 'Victorian trio' written on things, which is something I don't really expect in a charity shop and puts me off a bit. Mind you I got a nice little glass sugar shaker in there yesterday and will be checking it out on a regular basis.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Hello girlies.
Oh dear, blocking is pants isn't it? Even with the blocking board (piece of foam with writing on it) it isn't much fun. I dread to think what the dining room table looks like underneath it, I have been scraping pins all over it for days now. The only thing keeping me going is the realisation that all my hard work (ha ha ha) whilst lying on that sunlounger, will be wasted if I don't use these squares.

Have finished crocheting and sewn together the bag, and now have to find a suitable piece of fabric and put my pants sewing skills to the test when I try to line it. I don't think I will ever use it, apart from in Wool Corner but it was quite good fun to make.
By the way, there are handles, they are languishing inside the bag waiting to be lined. (I expect they will be collecting their pension before that day comes...)
Yesterday I finally gave in and went to a lovely wool shop that I had purposely been staying away from for the sake of my bank balance. I did buy some wool and am now making a scarf. I think I bought 12 balls so I will be scarfed up to the eyeballs.
Have found myself loads of projects today browsing blogs and Ravelry and my brain is going mad deciding what to make next. Really I have enough on the go to last me some time but pretty things are calling me and my stash.

This week Teenage Daughter #1 landed herself a full time job. She is now a Junior Legal Secretary in a law firm. Last night we cracked open a bottle of champagne and had a celebratory Chinese takeaway. The hard work for the last two years at college has paid off and I am delighted for her. I will let her have a month in Cloud Cuckoo Land and then I will be hitting her for the housekeeping money. Can't wait. Her paying me. I thought this day would never come!
Still haven't got the memory stick with the chazza buys on it, but will post pictures (of stuff I needed so much I have forgotten most of it already...)when I have.
Enjoy your evening, chicks.

Friday, 9 September 2011

I started so I'll finish...

Now I knew I had started a few things crochet wise, I have been a tad indecisive just lately about what to make, so I thought I would have a quick butchers through the bag I keep all the half started, half abandoned things in.
Oh dear...
Erm... I will finish some of them, Miss. Really I will.
Other things on the go...
The bobble blanket, which grows about a millimetre a week, is now my Travelling Crochet Project. You only need one ball of wool, so perfect for bunging in a carrier bag into a handbag. I told Teenage Daughter #1 yesterday as I was doing a row in the car (long story...) and she told me I was mental. Not as mental as helping myself to two grey wooden boxes with heart cut outs and a metal bulb thingy with a handle from the left out rubbish outside a shop opposite where she is temping yesterday. (I may claim that last sentence as the worst example of written English on a blog, ever.) I did ask the shopkeeper first and then furtively rushed them back to my car before said daughter looked up from her typewriter and saw me through the window while she was trying to be all secretaryish.
Last night I did these,
They are the squares I didn't like from the Cute and Easy crochet book. They will be a bag, if I don't get fed up with it in the meantime and go back to one of the other wips. Mind you, these squares take about 15-20 minutes if that so I could have it done pretty quickly if I get on with it.
Yesterday I took delivery of my shiny, new blocking board, which is a bit of foam with fabric on the top with centimetre squares on it. I am happy with it though, but need more pins as I have all those squares I did on holiday to block and can only pin out three at a time. I'm dying to get that sewn together and edged to prove to myself that I can actually finish something and not just keep crocheting aimlessly and buying wool like it is going on the ration. (The wool shop had a sale.. of course I had to go in there twice in one day... anyone would...)
Just lately I have been on plenty of charity shop forays and took some pictures but they are on a memory stick that one of the girls has at the moment so I will show them on a later post.
Please note that my dog gets in almost every photo. Now the camera is away he is back on the sofa asleep.
By the way you can click on these photos to make them bigger. I would like them to come out bigger as I post them but don't know how to do that.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Back in Blighty

Hello lovelies. This time last week I was here...
Now I'm home, back to rainy, cold nastiness.
While I was away I did this,
and this,
Thank you to my model, Cecile.
Since I have been home I have done this,
but have semi abandoned these now ater a visit to the curtain/bedcovers/ wool shop yesterday where purchases were made.
I have also started this,
which although quite effective to look at is as boring as arse to do. Also it is infuriating as it doesn't matter how hard I try and count and check, the bobbles never line up in the right places. Hey ho, when (if) it is done, I won't be holding it up for an inspection, the effect will be the same even if some the bobbles are a millimetre or so out. (Inner Amish speaking now.)
My sister gave me this,
I was going to paint it but I rather like it as it is. If it does get the paint treatment it will have to get on the back of the queue behind a coffee table, two pine wardrobes and a chest of drawers. So I love it how it is.
It was going to be in the carzy for loo roll but I have employed it in Wool Corner. It is rammed to the top with bags full of half finished projects and balls of wool.
Since being back I have managed to have an amble round the boot sale where I bought these,
Three quid spent and I was a happy little bunny.
Also got these in the charity shop yesterday,
So that's been my week.
Before I go, the picture my sister bought me for my birthday.
Loveliness and I will put it up soon. Promise.
Oh yes and if anyone has a notion of buying Dawn French's book, please stop yourself. Take yourself by the hand and lead yourself firmly out of the shop. Tie your purse up so you can't. If a book doesn't grab me pretty quickly I give up, life is too short (especially when you're flipping well 50) to read books you don't like. Fair enough. I can do that and not pass comment, but this offering was dire. Really. I gave it away on the plane before we were out of British waters. Sorry Dawn. Like you and all that, but deary me...